While concentrating on avoiding all the exquisite strategic mistakes you might make in the sales process, don't overlook the bread and butter sales screw ups, such as:

  • Not ensuring you're speaking with the decision maker or someone who can at least get you to them
  • Neglecting to fully explore the decision criteria by which the selection will be made
  • Not knowing upfront whether and when the potential client will look to outside providers
  • Over extending resources when preparing your proposal in what is (or what might become) a competitive bid situation
  • Failing to get a sense of what type of proposal makes the most sense and the depth to which the client expects it to go
  • Not fully explaining why you'll provide the greatest benefit and value among all the choices a client could make

On these, I speak from experience; it feels like we've made all these miscues in the past few weeks. I figure once we learn from these, we'll be ready to screw up (and learn from) some of the finer points of sales mistakes. - Mike Brown